Swedish media bored with politicians’ pointless chatter at Almedalen

Published 28 June 2024
- By Editorial Staff
Magdalena Andersson speaks during this year's Almedalen Week.

Even journalists from the major establishment media do not think that the Swedish political party leaders have anything interesting to say in Almedalen, and many question whether there is any point in covering the event at all in the future.

The Swedish parliamentary parties and the major media companies generally agree on the big issues, and the media coverage of the politicians’ week in Almedalen is rarely described by outsiders as particularly eventful or interesting. Moreover, the week often focuses more on mingling and socializing than on actually presenting concrete political strategies and proposals.

This year, however, the Swedish party leaders seem unusually tired and disengaged, so much so that even some establishment journalists are questioning whether there is any point to the event.

“Do the speeches of the party leaders in Almedalen deserve coverage? Nobody says anything new. Soon we will have to start questioning not only the value of being in Almedalen as a gimmick, but also the value of covering meaningless speeches from the stage”, writes Aftonbladet’s culture editor Eric Rosén on X.

He notes that fewer and fewer political proposals and ideas are being presented each year, and wonders what the journalists on the ground will be reporting on.

“If they don’t say anything – what should I write? A random report from the tech companies or a trade union is more newsworthy than what is said from the stage”, he continues.

“Extremely low quality of work”

“As the person who is supposed to write about these pointless chatterers, I have been thinking about this this year as well, because both the quality of their work and the commitment of the party leaders have been extremely low so far”, agrees left-liberal Göteborgs-Posten political reporter Arne Larsson.

Aftonbladet columnist Oisin Cantwell argues that it would have been more than enough to cover the politicians’ week in an election year, and several others agree that it is difficult to find anything of value to report.

Almedalsveckan has been organized in various forms since 1968, but in recent years it has come under increasing criticism – not least because it is expensive and complicated for ordinary Swedes to travel to Gotland to meet and listen to their politicians, which is why the event is often accused of functioning mainly as an internal club for mutual admiration, but with very limited relevance for citizens.

The Almedalen Week

The Almedalen Week is a major annual political event held on the island of Gotland in Sweden.

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